The Cost Of An Incomplete And Bad Website Experience

With no-code tools and AI, it has become easier than ever to stack some random sections together and call it a website. Not just bootstrapped startups, even bigger companies don’t bother about the customer experience, and do it left-right-and-center.

Because of that, most of the websites you see today are incomplete and dysfunctional.

A staggering 97% of websites, according to our industry estimates, fail to deliver on their core purpose. This translates to a frustrating experience for users and missed opportunities for businesses.

Teams at Openthrive have spent more than a decade building over 1000 websites. During that time, we’ve had countless conversations with designers, developers, CXOs, marketers, and most importantly, the people on the other side of the screen – prospects and customers. Through these interactions, we’ve witnessed firsthand the disconnect between what various stakeholders want from a website and what users actually need.

Website Experience
  • Designers – They’re the artists, passionate about creating visually stunning and beautiful websites. Speed is often their mantra, wanting to deliver good looking designs quickly.
  • Developers – They crave clear communication from the designers. Well-documented designs, consistent design tokens (color palettes, typographies and other design style) are essential for efficient coding, especially for headless and custom development.
  • Company leadership – They want to have a beautiful website that launches quickly to establish a strong online presence. Time is money, and they want results fast.
  • Customers – They’re the silent majority, often left frustrated. All they want is a smooth experience – to find the information they need quickly and take action effortlessly, whether it’s making a purchase, contacting customer support, or simply learning more about your solutions.

The problem with incomplete websites

Why are so many websites failing to meet the needs of both, the businesses and the users?

The culprit often lies in a prioritization of faster design process and aesthetics over customer experience. Websites become trophy cases for design awards, neglecting the fundamental purpose of attracting and converting visitors.

Consider this – You walk into a physical office to enquire about something. There’s no reception area, plus all nameless doors, leaving you clueless. There are dim lights, with haphazardly arranged furniture, making it difficult for anyone to find anything. Lots of step-ups and step-downs around the office, making it impossible to access for differently-abled people. Somehow, you find someone who might be able to help, but they lack the information you need. This disjointed experience perfectly mirrors the frustration customers encounter on incomplete websites.

Your website is your digital office space. Although it sounds very generic, but it’s more than oxygen to thrive your business serving beyond the neighborhood.

The business cost of incomplete websites

The business consequences of an incomplete website go far beyond customer frustration. Here’s how it can negatively impact your business –

1. Yuck! Brand perception
How people perceive your brand is literally how your brand speaks to them. A huge chunk of that responsibility is on your website experience.

A website that doesn’t offer information transparency and uses the same old cliché hook to start a relationship, will make you lose your credibility in the eyes of your prospects and customers. The perceived value of your brand will be like someone who nobody wants to be associated with.

2. Dragged into the price war
Healthy competition is good. But when you present your solution on your website as just another option for prospects to choose, they get leverage. Now they don’t see any good reason why they must pick you and only you.

That’s when the dirty bargain game starts, and the cheapest option wins.

You don’t want it, but it will happen.

3. Losing deals after the proposal sent
Noticed how a hot prospect goes deaf after you send them your proposal? This proposal was exactly what they were looking for, within their budget. Then, what goes wrong here?

You might not like to accept this, but your prospects talk to five, ten or even twenty companies simultaneously to figure out what works best for them. While comparing proposals, they also like to dive deeper about the companies by exploring their website, consuming all the interesting content in their preferred formats, and even share some of their favorites with their own teams.

So, if this prospect isn’t looking for the cheapest one, they’ll go for one of your competitors who have a great website experience, a proper content studio and are able to engage without any pushy sales vibes. And, you just lost a hot deal from your pipeline.

4. Breaking up with customers
Your customers trusted you once, but you can’t have them forever. They don’t want to work with a company anymore that looks outdated, doesn’t add much value to their business except the basic solution, and doesn’t seem to care about their experience at all.

Where do they get all that idea from? Well, your website is a reflection of what’s going on within your company, believe it or not.

Customers tend to keep a close track of your website to learn about your new solutions, updates, research, technologies, industries, and progress in general. And it’s super easy to break trust they once had, when they discover an alternative that is very transparent, and seems to care about their needs more than you. They move away without hesitation.

5. Injustice to the great product quality
You might have an awesome product, with better features and pricing in the whole industry. But to bring one customer to try the product, it will be a struggle because they can’t trust you yet.

Your website experience is giving out a loud uncertainty vibe. You have a few pages talking about your product and even a “Book a demo” page. But the prospects don’t see any substantial ground to take a step, watch that video, read your features, and book the demo or buy from you.

Your product is still awesome, and nobody is convinced that it is because they don’t feel it yet.

Beyond customer & revenue

1. Difficulty attracting and retaining top talent
Highly skilled people are always in high demand. They work for companies that they feel confident about. The best source of information for these potential hires is your website. Once they visit, either they feel like building their careers with your company, or not.

Same is true for your current best employees. They’ve seen the company from the inside, so when they look around the website, they need to continue feeling that they made the right decision. Else, bye bye!

2. Losing Partner opportunity
Nothing kills a partnership, before coming into partnership, like an untrustworthy partner does. For a new prospective partner, all they have is your website to understand you, analyze you, predict the future with you, and even grow their business with you.

When the website fails to address their specific concerns without them asking one-on-one, and gives them hell of a time figuring things out, it’s safe to say – they’re not coming back. You didn’t even get to see their face before they went away.

3. Tough fighting to get investment
Investors come in all shapes and sizes. Their time is money, and they won’t invest either of it on you if they see that you don’t bother about their concerns. If you’re speaking with five investors at the same time, it’s possible none will put their money into your amazing product unless they see the full picture.

Product features aren’t enough for them. How you’re presenting your product in the market is more important than ever as the competition is cut-throat today.

Your incomplete website will never be able to do justice to the brilliant product, and the prospective investors will never be able to convince themselves about your product when you’re not in the room.

How to build complete and functional websites

The good news is there’s a way to bridge the gap and create a website experience that is complete, functional, and beautiful. It is possible with the combined efforts of designers, marketers, developers and the right technologies.

Here’s a brief idea of what a complete and functional website aims to hit:

1. All the important information should be properly distributed and organized across pages.

2. Each page has a unique purpose, and must have the relevant details as a prospect or customer would expect.

3. Sometimes, too much information is overwhelming, so it should be just enough to make it easy for the user to understand and take action.

4. Every user is in a different stage of their buying journey, so they need to be addressed differently.

5. Without interfering with users’ experiences, the website must keep them engaged and involved, while also moving them towards the sales funnel.

6. It should be a good mix of multiple content formats to convey the message.

7. Of course, it should be soothing to the eyes and mind too.

To accomplish all of this, structure your website into three parts:

Website Experience

1. Website pages
Having just the Home page, About page and Contact page doesn’t serve the purpose of your website now. All the unique pages and similar structured pages come under this category. These are mostly static pages that share specific information with a goal of getting customers to take action.

Core pages, Product and solution pages, Engagement pages and the Landing pages are all important to include to have a functional website experience.

2. Content studio
An old school blog where your team writes whatever and whenever they feel like is not of any use. Nobody probably reads that. The way people consume content has changed, and the only thing you can do to make it good for your business is to have a fully functional Content Studio.

This will be the place where people can immerse themselves into the interesting content, in all formats possible, and give your customers the flexibility to decide how they want to use it. This way, you give them a hand and lead their way into your solutions, where they decide the direction of their movement, and they enjoy it too.

They’re more likely to trust such a brand than a John Doe that doesn’t seem to care about their preferences.

3. FunnelCX
With all the pages and content in place, you need to mobilize your prospects and customers with a pre-meditated gentle push. It shouldn’t even feel like a push. More like, leading them towards a slope from where the gravity takes over and the customers love it. This is impossible to achieve with hollow promises and irritating pop-ups.

These are funnels to keep your customers engaged so much that they love hanging around. And gradually upon discovering the need for your solutions, they know who to talk to.

Final words

Here’s the thing – Customers make snap judgments.

Whether to stay on your website for a few more minutes, to close the browser tab right away, or to fill out the form. The power of a complete and functional website is beyond adding luxuries in your office space.

Most companies skip this, and never get to see the real possibilities. You can truly have a competitive advantage here, because your prospects and customers are silently judging you from afar, making decisions, and you’re not even hearing from them.

Well, if you want to build an experience on your website that is complete, functional and beautiful, you can use our UIUX suite and get your team to work. Find cxful here.

Or, if you want to get this done fully by the Openthrive team, reach out to us here.